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11 July 2014

Climbing Plants for a Sunny Position

Following on from my previous article concerning climbing plants for shady areas, this article considers some plants suitable for sunny positions. The choice of plants is wider for this group and some grow to be quite large, though often over a period of 10 - 20 years.

Actinidia kolomikta - a vigorous deciduous climber with twining stems, grown mainly for it's foliage effect. Oval leaves with those of mature plants tipped with silver, later pink, and white flowers in early summer, male and female on separate plants. Height and spread of 4 - 8m in 5 - 10 years and will need support.

Trachelospermum jasminoides - a vigorous medium-sized evergreen twining woody climber with glossy dark green, oval leaves 5-8cm in length which often turn deep red in winter. Its clusters of very fragrant white flowers 2.5cm in width become cream with age. Height and spread of 4-8m in 10 - 20 years. Self-clinging so no support needed.

Solanum Crispum 'Glasnevin' - a scrambling, semi-evergreen climbing shrub with finely-pointed, ovate leaves, and masses of bright blue flowers from summer to late autumn. If you prefer white flowers, then choose Solanum jasminoides Album which is similar in other respects to the blue Glasnevin. Both will need pruning hard each spring but soon re-grow. Ultimate height of 4 - 8m and spread of 1 - 1.5m in 5 - 10 years. Needs neutral to slightly alkaline soil and requires support and regular tieing-in.

Campsis radicans - a vigorous self-clinging large woody climber, with pinnate leaves and bright orange or red, trumpet-shaped flowers borne in clusters in late summer and autumn. Ultimate height 8-12m and spread 2.5-4m in 10-20 years.

Wisteria floribunda - a vigorous deciduous climber with pinnate leaves and, in early summer, fragrant, pea-like, violet-blue, pink or white flowers in racemes to 30cm or longer. Needs support but may not need tieing-in. Ultimate height of 4-8m and spread of 1-1.5m in 10-20 years.

Abutilon Megapotamicum - an elegant shrub with beautifully marked, slender light green pointed leaves and exotic red and yellow bell-like flowers from late spring through the summer. It is half-hardy and needs the protection of a wall. Height and spread 1.8 - 2.5m in 10 - 20 years.

Rosa 'Climbing Iceberg' - one of the most reliable climbing roses, it has sprays of double, slightly fragrant, creamy or pure white flowers from June to September and masses of mid-green leaves. It looks gorgeous silhouetted against a sunny house or garden wall, and as long as the faded blooms are regularly removed it will continue flowering into autumn. Will need support and tieing-in. An ultimate height and spread of 2.5 - 4m in 5 - 10 years.

I hope this article has proved useful and that I have suggested some climbing plants that you might not have considered previously.
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